Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Cupcake Wars

Medley has the lowdown on the cupcake wars:

For the past few weeks in the Post, one of the advice columnists has been talking about the issue of snacks for kids in school and other extra-curricular events (see here and here for examples). Some parents are concerned that their kids are being given too many sweet and candies and just too much sugar generally. Especially in cases where they have multiple activities on a given day, or attend siblings activities (and everyone shares in the treats).

Other parents are going crazy because of their deep emotional connection to cupcakes.

"A lot of people are really angry," said Karen Epperson, a George Mason parent. "They think this is really stupid."

Mind you, Epperson said, it's not the kids who are upset. Kids are not the ones who are so devoted to cupcakes.

At the same time they're being booted from classrooms, cupcakes have become the latest hipster chic food. Entire blogs are dedicated to cupcake culture.

And some are going totally nuts.

"I don't have children. But I guarantee that if I did, I'd make them cupcakes for their birthdays," she said. "It's just ingrained in us as the proper thing to do."

So when that cultural norm is threatened by cupcake bans, she argued, people feel compelled to rally to its defense.

"Think about it. Banning cupcakes is almost like an assault on the national identity," Oths said. "It comes at a time when there are fears of terrorism and the immigration brouhaha that they're 'watering down' our traditional American culture -- meaning middle-class white America -- that's slipping out of our grasp."

Medley correctly observes that some parents are clearly overreacting.

"If we can't have cupcakes in gradeschool THEN THE TERRORISTS HAVE WON!"

But having said that, I would like to say that I am strongly pro-cupcake.

Baking with/for my friends or with my little cousins is one of the purest joys in life, especially when its for birthdays. I'm glad that schools have banned candy and soda in schools. But cupcakes? Come on, seriously. If your kid is so rotund that at any moment he might go into diabetic shock, then I'm thinking that his sprinkle consumption at school really isn't the problem.

Maybe you should get up off of your butt, which statistically speaking is probably quite large if your kid has this issue, and start being a parent. Stop buying fast food, learn to cook something that doesn't require the microwave, and go outside with your kid once in a while to play soccer.
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